Video Production Business Tips – Surviving Economic Downturns and Thriving in the Upswings

When business is slow, people often blame it on “the economy.” When I was younger, I used to think this was a load of crap. How can “the economy” be directly responsible for why my clients aren’t hiring us for more video projects?

How can “the economy” be responsible for ME losing contract opportunities? Well, after years of fighting tooth and nail to have a successful video production business, I can tell you that even though I still don’t understand exactly how it works, the state of “the economy” definitely impacts my business.

In this article, I’ll attempt to give you a quick lesson on how, why, and what you can do to weather the storms.

I had an interesting conversation with a client about how the high price of oil impacts his business. He owns a multi-million dollar plastics manufacturing company (I mean MULTI-MILLION dollar business!)

This guy is big time and I’m doing everything I can to quickly learn how to replicate his success. The odds are good that I won’t reach that level with my video production business, but perhaps the collective efforts of all my business endeavors will resemble an inkling of what he has accomplished some day.

In a moment of ignorance, I asked him why the price of oil was making such a difference to his profit margins and he proceeded to instruct me in Business Economics 101. He mass produces products like medical waste trash bags, bags designed to keep frozen foods fresh for so many weeks/months, the liners of helium balloons, etc. which are made from plastic raw materials. These plastic raw materials are derived from oil.

Since oil is a lot more expensive these days, his raw materials cost a lot more which means that in order to maintain profit margins, he has to raise prices. Well, this isn’t fairing well because he has been successful due to his reputation of being the best quality at the lowest price.

Now that he is having to raise his prices, he is merely the best quality at an average price. Part of his frustration is that his competitors aren’t raising their prices to protect their margins. Instead, they are consciously losing money by keeping their prices the same.

So, as of right now, he can either join his competitors by not raising his prices and lose money or he can raise his prices to protect his profit margins but get less volume.

At this point in the conversation, I realized that I was running late for another meeting so we broke it off and I hauled tail out of there. Regardless of what he decides, I’m sure it will be a decision that continues to make him wealthier down the road. He didn’t get where he is by not understanding how to maneuver through good and bad economies.

So, how does the example I gave above regarding economic downturn impact us as videographers?

It’s pretty simple. Let’s say that this plastics manufacturer was a client of yours. If the high price of oil is leading him to raise prices which results in less sales volume, then it’s safe to assume that he will tighten up the purse strings when it comes to the “nice to have” services (videos, websites, breakfast in the middle of the Serengeti with 50 armed guards to keep the animals away… true story) and will only spend money on the “must have” services (raw materials, paper, pens, maintenance on his machines, etc.)

If he is a customer that does repeat business with you but hasn’t called in a while, this is most likely the reason. Or, if you submitted a proposal a few weeks/months ago and he hasn’t responded, this again could be the problem.

You have to keep in mind that when a business owner (or decision maker) is in survival mode, they aren’t thinking about anything else but how to get through this economic downturn. They know that if they can just get through the storm, great things will be on the other side when the economy bounces back.

As a service provider, YOU MUST RESPECT THIS! To not will result in extreme frustration for both you and the client/prospect. Plus, your client/prospect is giving you signs that the economic downturn is coming your way as well. If high oil prices impacts your clients’ profit, they won’t have extra money to spend on your services, which, you guessed it, means that you too will soon face a crisis.

So now that you’ve “seen on the news that the hurricane is coming,” what do you do?

You start boarding up your house and potentially think about leaving town.

I’m not suggesting you leave town but you should definitely start thinking about how you will weather the economic storm that will soon hit you like a ton of bricks.

What are your options?

My experience has been that when a client/prospect is facing a cash shortage due to an economic downturn, there isn’t any type of incentive that will result in them signing a video production contract.

They “freeze” their spending on anything that isn’t directly related to the operations of their business. So, you will feel like a hamster spinning the wheel without getting anywhere if you attempt to find a way to get your client/prospect to move forward with a project during this time. Embrace this fact and start collecting nuts… it’s going to be a long winter!

When your clients/prospects stop purchasing the “nice to haves” and only focus on the “must haves,” YOU MUST FOLLOW SUIT IMMEDIATELY! Put off the software upgrade or the expensive trip to the big industry conference you love to attend each year.

This is also the time to put off personal vacations and the kitchen renovation. If you don’t preserve your cash, you will be caught in the worst part of the storm without a lot of options for survival.

When the economy is bad, banks don’t like to lend money to people who actually need it and since you will be going to them because you are out of cash, they won’t consider you a good risk. It’s a messed up system but learning to embrace it will result in a healthier life and a more successful video production business.

It will be difficult to do this in the middle of a bad economy but a few ways you can help to off-set some of the impact include:

1. Focus your marketing efforts on industries that aren’t impacted as heavily when the economy is experiencing a downturn.

Some of these industries include health care (people are going to be sick no matter what the economy is doing), higher education (people go to college no matter what the economy is doing), local/state/federal government (the only entities that seem to not be impacted at all by the economy), and church ministries (the larger churches I work with seem to always have cash tucked away no matter what’s going on the business world).

These industries won’t necessarily thrive in a bad economy but they fare better than most which means you won’t be bone dry when the usual corporate clients close their checkbooks.

2. Find ways to improve your cash flow when the economy is good.

This is when banks will loan money or refinance loans for ANYONE! Use this to your advantage to reduce your monthly payments on equipment, vehicles, etc. And remember not to take on any unnecessary expenses that will either eat a large portion of your cash or will tie you in to monthly payments. You’ll need the cash when the economy gets bad and you won’t want extra monthly payments when your revenue drops.

3. Make hay while the sun is shining!

I know this is a cliche and one I’ve used in other articles, but, it’s true in this case as well. When the economy is great and people are buying things left and right, you MUST SELL LIKE THERE IS NO TOMORROW!

I’m serious. Spend all day marketing/selling and produce the videos at night or on weekends. Or, relax your client’s delivery expectations when possible so you can spend more time selling when everyone is buying.

4. Then, when you have a stack of cash and are trying to figure out how you want to spend it… REMEMBER… another storm will be coming soon!

Always has and always will. You can’t deny it. To do so will spell disaster for your video production business.

In conclusion, the economy is a force that is much stronger than you, me and even the largest businesses in the world. In order to make it through the downturns, you must do everything you can to prepare for them when the economy is strong.

Sell more, spend less and make smart financial decisions when it comes to refinancing your long-term and short-term loans. Eventually, the positive things you do in great economies will outrun the worst that bad economies can dish out. This is when your video production business gets stronger and you start to experience true wealth.

As for my client, his personal wealth is already far greater than the value of his multi-million dollar business. So, in reality, it doesn’t matter what happens during this particular economic downturn.

In the worst possible case, his business shuts down for a few months (with all employees continuing to receive paychecks) while he goes on a few lavish vacations. Then, when the economy bounces back, he turns the lights back on and they go back to being the best-quality/lowest price provider of plastics products that will continue to make him millions of dollars each year.

Wouldn’t we all like a piece of that action?

How to Create an Information Product Business Online

Two years ago I was stuck in a job that I hated, making barely enough money to pay my bills and struggling to find the time to continue pursuing my real dream of writing music, which seemed to be slowly slipping through my fingers. I knew there had to be a way to get out of the trap I seemed to be stuck in, but I couldn’t figure out how. I was in my early thirties and I reached a low point where I felt very defeated. I remember talking to a friend one night, a co-worker actually, and I said “All I want to do is to find a way to make enough money to pay my bills and enjoy my life on my terms”. I wanted the ability to create my own schedule and pursue my dreams on my own terms. I’ll never forget my friend’s response, without missing a beat he said, “That’s what everybody wants.”

Sometimes in life we have to hit a low point before we’re really motivated to take action. Shortly after this conversation I embarked on what is now close to a two and a half year journey of creating and launching my own information product business online. Prior to this point I had worked a series of low paid, unsatisfying jobs, all with the idea that at heart I was a musician and these jobs were nothing more than a means to an end. Well I’m still a musician, and I continue to pursue my passion for playing and performing my music. But the difference now is that I have a business, two actually, that I believe in and that sustain me. Regardless of what happens with my music career and the inevitable ups and downs that is part of the music industry, I have a business that I believe in that is much more than just a means to an end.

I’m in touch with a lot of people, both in person and via email. One issue that I’ve heard over and over is that people are struggling financially right now. As we all know, the economy isn’t doing so great right at the moment. I’m an optimist and I’m confident we will recover, but the reality is that right now things are hard for a lot people.

It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way!

For the last several months I have been developing a program that teaches people how to create and launch their own information product business online. If you have knowledge that you’ve acquired over the years that others would like to learn, creating an information product business is a great way to either supplement your current income or generate a full time income. For me, what originally started as something I did in my spare time as a hobby has blossomed into two businesses, with two employees. In my new program I show you how I did it and how you can do the same.

Why Information Products?

There are a lot of ways to make money on the internet but I am specifically interested in helping people learn how to create and launch information products, for a variety of reasons, a few of them are:

1) Extremely low costs to get started. I mean extremely low. If you have a computer and internet access you can get started for about $35.00. I don’t know of any other legitimate business opportunities where the barrier to entry is this low. If you have a good idea and the will to implement it you can get in the game very easily and quickly.

2) It’s Automated. What’s great about selling information products is that the entire process of selling can be automated. If you sell a digital product like me you have nothing to ship. The product is delivered instantly and automatically. No warehouses, no assembling products and no driving to the post office to ship your products. Now I should point out that I do sell hard copy products as well but I have someone else that I’ve outsourced packaging and shipping to. I just send them my orders and they take care of the rest. Problem solved.

3) Flexible Schedule. I can’t think of a better ¨day job¨ than working online. Need to take a week off? No problem, just take your laptop with you and your good to go. I have run my business from multiple states and multiple countries because of the flexibility my job allows. Wherever I go with my laptop and an internet connection is my office. I have worked in such remote areas as The Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Florida. OK Florida isn’t that remote, but the point is it doesn’t really matter. Basically the whole world has internet access at this point and if you have internet access you can work just as effectively, regardless of where you are.

4) No Boss. I guess this one ties into having a flexible schedule. I personally have always hated having a boss to answer to. I guess it goes along with being a musician and a free spirit. When you work for yourself you answer to yourself. Now I’m not going to lie, this has its pros and cons. When the shit hits the fan you have no one to blame but yourself. But for me, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. I’ll take dealing with the challenges and struggles of running my own business over dealing with an ungrateful, mean, domineering boss any day.

5) You Choose Your Own Niche. This is a big one. I chose the music licensing industry both because I knew quite a bit about it and because I’m a musician and I wanted to stay close and connected to the music industry. If you’re day job is selling used cars or insurance or something like that, it’s hard to really feel like your job is anything other than an end to a means. When your day job is connected to your passion and your dream, the two go hand in hand and help support each other. I have been paid to teach others about the music licensing industry and as a result have personally learned a great deal more about the industry which has helped me take steps forward. Choosing the right niche is an important decision and if you choose the right one it will not only help you make money but will help you get closer to achieving your long term goals.

6) It’s Recession Proof. I’ve made a lot more money this year than I did last year despite being in an economic downturn. I have had challenges, no doubt, but one of the many great things about working for yourself is that you have the ability to adapt to your circumstances. When you have a job, if you have a job, you get paid the same month to month regardless of what’s happening. But with an internet business you can adapt to the changing circumstances. Need to make more money? Launch a new product. Need to generate more sales? Offer a discount. You call the shots and are able to adapt to what’s happening.

8 MLM Prospecting Tips On How To Turn Your Prospects Into Productive Business Partners

I don’t care what company you are in the vision of a business & salesperson should be to turn their prospects into business partners.

“So Keep Reading Because This Gets A Lot More Interesting…”

Your prospects are drowning in pain & begging for help so stop & ask yourself this: Is the product or service you have to offer going to get rid of their pain if so then why aren’t you helping them? It’s your responsibility to make their pain go away!

8 MLM Prospecting Tips On How To Turn Your Prospects Into Productive Business Partners…

MLM Prospecting Tip #1…Get Off Your Butt Get Out Here & Get Acquainted:

Establishing trust & credibility in this field is a must so start networking with your niche this helps you relate to them & get a better understanding of what they are going through. This is also where having a good marketing strategy falls into place, it allows you to get to know others & eventually inform them about your business?

A marketing simple strategy can start with Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn or the social bookmarking sites.

MLM Prospecting Tip #2…What Are Their Pressure Points?

Can you feel the agony & pain they are going through right now? If so then you need to get to the bottom of it before you start talking about your opportunity, after you find out what problems they are having then you can focus on how your opportunity will help change their lives.

MLM Prospecting Tip #3…Time To Approach The Situation:

OK in order for you to do this successfully you have to give them a clear understanding that you have something of value to offer so it’s time to get down to the true need of your prospects & you can do this by listening to what they have to say.

After they are done talking you can ask any questions you may have just be sure you are paying close attention to what they are saying because you may have a winner standing right in front of you!

MLM Prospecting Tip #4…Give Valuable Solutions Away For Free:

Your prospects have to know that you’re not in it just for the money & if you are then you’re doing nothing but wasting your precious little time. You must figure out what you can give away at no cost?

Do you have any training materials or tools that you can give away? Providing value upfront is called “attraction marketing” it makes those in your niche more drawn to you because you are educating them on what to do & how to do it.

Learn how to become creative & have fun with what you’re doing, it as time goes on you will start seeing your business expand a lot more.

MLM Prospecting Tip #5…While Consistently Providing Value It’s Time To Start Presenting The Valuable Products That Cost:

Giving away free products is good but you are still building a business so you have to start earning income & if you are only giving away freebies then how in the world are going to build a profitable business?

The more valuable your products & services become the sooner you can start charging a fee for them, besides you can’t earn any “Return On Your Investment” if you don’t start charging for your services at some point & time. The best way to get started is by offering your products at a low price on the front end.

There are (3) ways you can offer your products to your niche along with a call to action:

List Of Subscribers

Blog Posts

Writing Articles

MLM Prospecting Tip #6…Provide So Much Value That They Can’t Hardly Stand It:

They paid for your product right? So you have to provide so much value that they are overwhelmed this lets them know that they got more than they paid for!

At this point it’s time to deliver tons & tons of value on your low cost item & while you are at it you can throw in a free bonus: reports, ebooks, video trainings, private coaching calls, etc… this will make them want to network with you even more & it keeps the relationship growing stronger.

MLM Prospecting Tip #7…Next Start Offering Your Higher Prices Items:

If the lower price item is packed with tons of value then they won’t mind paying for the higher priced items because they know they are going to benefit from it.

Here you can offer your best product or opportunity especially after you have done steps 1-6 at this point they have built up enough trust with you & they trust you enough to where they feel good about making a quick decision!

Do you realize what you have done so far?

You have consistently nurtured them, picked the ones that are teachable, willing to pay & ready to work with you. Plus your actions speaks for themselves by showing that you are a trustworthy person that’s sincerely ready to help others.

You can let your website, webinars, conference calls speak for themselves & now you can present your business & talk about the advantages they have of personally working with you.

MLM Prospecting Tip #8…Time For A Check Up:

Now it’s time to do a check up on what you’ve been working on:

What worked & what didn’t?

What should you have done differently to get a better outcome?

What do you need to test & tweak?

How is your squeeze page working out?

Doing a reality check keeps your mind fresh & lets you know what you need to do differently to improve things. This is also a great time to check over your goals to make sure you are on staying on task.

My Last Conclusion…

Don’t be afraid to take control of your business because the prospects in your niche are looking for someone to lead & guide them in the right direction.

Four Actions That You Can Take Right Away in Order to Have a Productive Business Day

Doing more with my 24 hours is something that has my whole attention these days. Managing your time well seems to be an art. It’s a topic that affects the productiveness of your day, and there a lot of tips and tricks that you can use to maximize your time.

But today I want to share some of the things that I notice are working for me and in my business. For some of you, they may be nothing new, but the truth is that these tips work and you don’t need to complicate things.

Some of the best systems that work are the most simple ones.

Here are some of the ideas that you can implement right away to form better time management:

  • Do not open your email first thing in the morning

Have you noticed that when the first thing that you do after turning on your computer is to check your email, you usually stay there at least 30 minutes, maybe even an hour? Usually there are not important emails to attend to, but still you can’t help checking, right? Don’t be ashamed to admit this, you are not the only one. But you need to figure out a system that incorporates checking your email with being productive.

You need to have a schedule when you check your emails so that you don’t check it 4-5 times a day… maybe more.

Create a goal for yourself; spend only 30 minutes in a day to check your email (preferably when you finish all your work) and then be done with looking at your email for that day.

  • Don’t use your brain too much–take regular breaks

Yes, it’s true. Your brain need some rest and you will be a lot more productive by taking a break every 3 or 4 hours. Don’t work like a maniac all day long. Here is a nice schedule that you can follow to have a organized and productive working day (especially if you work from home):

7:00 – 8:00     Wake up and work out
8:00 – 9:00     Shower, dress, eat breakfast.
9:00 – 12:30   Do your work! (NO EMAIL!)
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch!
13:30 – 15:30 Do your work!
15:30 – 16:30 Take a break and anything you want
16:00 – 17:30 Do your work!
17:30 – 18:30 Reply to emails, plan the next day, finish your thing!

  • Keep your focus

Keeping your focus while at your computer is one of the simplest things that you can do… and it’s very productive. If you don’t have a crystal-clear goal when you are at your PC, trust me it’s better to step away until you do. You will be so much more productive by doing this.

  • Don’t compare yourself with your peeps

You will have a big problem doing this because you will not appreciate your small results.

Maybe you are at the beginning of your online journey and having 5-10 new subscribers is the best thing that happened to your business for a long time. You should really celebrate that! But if you look at the top person in your industry and see that she can get 700 sign-ups in one day, you can’t really appreciate YOUR success.

Never forget. Your SUCCESS IS AMAZING even if it’s a small or big result. It is still amazing because it’s a result that moves businesses forward.

Keep that in mind! And think about the fact that the top person in your industry was at some point where you are right now but she never gave up.

And voila… we are at the end of this post. These are my recommendations for a productive day.

But all this advice is useless if you will not implement it right away and make them a habit. Probably the most important tip is that you need to implement this new way of doing things in the way you work. To have a productive business, you need to become a productive person and the best part is when you are productive you will perform in your business–and that is probably something that you definitely want.:)